Alignment of Student Discipline Design and Administration to Constitutional and National Law Imperatives in South Africa

  • Brighton M Mupangavanhu University of the Western Cape
  • Yeukai Mupangavanhu University of the Western Cape
Keywords: Higher learning institutions, student discipline, just administrative action, procedural fairness


Higher Learning Institutions (HEIs) have an important role to play in the promotion of respect for fundamental human rights and other constitutional imperatives. This article will demonstrate that the design and administration of student discipline at HEIs qualifies to be administrative action. As such, the article will identify the constitutional and other legislative principles which can help student discipline to be aligned to the requirements of just administrative action, which are lawfulness, procedural fairness and reasonableness. The article will explore challenges faced by student discipline and proffer recommendations and suggestions for improved regulation and practice.




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Awumey v Fort Cox Agricultural College 2003 8 BCLR 861 (Ck)
Bam-Mugwanya v Minister of Finance and Provincial Expenditure, Eastern Cape 2001 4 SA 120 (Ck)
BTR Industries SA (Pty) Ltd v Metal and Allied Workers Union 1992 3 SA 673 (AD)
Cupan v Cape Display Chain Services 1995 5 BCLR 598 (D)
Dawood v Minister of Home Affairs 2000 3 SA 936 (CC)
De Lille v Speaker of the National Assembly 1998 3 SA 430 (C)
Despatch High School v Head, Department of Education, Eastern Cape 2003 1 SA 246 (Ck)
Durr en Andere v Universiteit van Stellenbosh 1990 3 SA 598 (A)
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Maritzburg College v Dlamini 2005 JOL 15075 (N)
Mkhize v Rector, University Of Zululand 1986 1 SA 901 (D)
Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of SA In Re: Ex parte Application of President of SA 2000 3 BCLR 241 (CC)
Phillips v Manser 1999 1 All SA 198 (SE)
President of the Republic of South Africa v South African Rugby Football Union 2000 1 SA 1 (CC)
Sibanyoni and Others v University of Fort Hare 1985 1 SA 19 (Ck)
Tyatya v University of Bophuthatswana 1994 2 SA 375 (BG)
Yates v University of Bophuthatswana 1994 3 SA 815 (BG)

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Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996
Higher Education Act 101 of 1997
Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995
Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000
Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000

Register of government publications

GN 195 in GG 23132 of 15 February 2002 (Higher Education Act 101 of 1997: University of Witwatersrand Statute)
GN 377 in GG 23065 of 27 March 2002 (Higher Education Act 101 of 1997: Standard Institutional Statute)
GN 684 in GG 29032 of 14 July 2006 (Higher Education Act 101 of 1997: University of KwaZulu Natal Statute)

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